How to Decorate Your Yard With a Simple Pond

Whether you are building a water garden or a Koi pond the basic steps to construction are basically the same.

• Koi ponds require a low pressure pump and a bigger liner or basin
• A pond with a fountain requires a high pressure pump and any size liner or basin
• A water garden requires a basin or liner that has different levels
• A water garden that attracts frogs and dragon flies must have a shallow end that has just a few inches of water

Once you have decided on the type of pond you need to build your next step is to decide on a location. In general you should avoid placing your pond –
• Near a garden or lawn with pesticides
• On a slope with runoff
• Under a tree

The perimeter shape of your pool is not really of much consequence in any way and it is purely a matter of taste.

Popular perimeter shapes are the square, circle, octagon and kidney shaped pools. The more geometric the shape the more formal it will look. Kidney or irregularly shaped prefabricated molds look the most natural. Square and round shapes are associated with European (and especially Italian) designs. The octagon shapes are associated with Feng Shui and other Asian water gardening traditions.

If you are planning to build a water garden that boasts a glorious display of water lilies then you need to make sure you buy a prefabricated basin that has shelves. This is because water lilies are laid in the water inside pots that may need to be placed on graduated levels depending on how they grow.

When it comes to determining how deep your pool should be consider that ponds built in colder areas may need more depth to keep the pond from freezing solid during the winter. Koi ponds should be three feet or deeper to allow fish to spawn and if you plan on allowing the Koi to winter in the pond then plan on having a pond that is at least five feet in depth.

Pond Liners are the plastic shell that cradles the water in your pond. The easiest way to go is to buy pre-formed plastic liners from a garden center.

Installing prefabricated liners is easy. You simply dig a hole large enough for the liner to lie in and make sure it is level by filling it with amounts of sand. All you need to do is flip the prefabricated liner over and trace it somehow on the grass to know where you are going to dig.

Once you have installed your pond liner you will notice an unattractive gap between the plastic tub and the rough edges where you dug out the hole. Stones and other materials that are used to conceal the plastic edges of the liner or prefabricated tub are called copings. Coping stones can then be mortared into place to conceal this gap.

Root clumps mixed with gravel can also be used to edge the pond to give the appearance of a natural occurring spring in the forest.

How to Decorate With Antique Lamps

There is nothing that adds more elegance and automatic ambience to a room’s décor than an antique lamp. They are fantastic objects to have in a dining room or living room because they not only make a personal statement about you but because they are great conversation pieces. There is nothing like a 1930s big chandelier with large drops of ice hanging from it to help break the ice with your dinner companions.

One of the most interesting antique lamp fads that is around lately is the passion for chandeliers made out of deer antlers. These date back as far as the 1890s and straight through to today. They were standard lamp fixtures in medieval times in Europe (as they do have a bit of a pagan flair to them) but they are also considered to be part of American and Canadian furniture kitsch.

However keep in mind that when you buy one of these deer chandeliers that it is not always that politically correct. Some unscrupulous dealers are selling this type of thing on eBay as being made out of found antlers when what they have done is take the antlers off of live deer. This is a big ecological no-no.

Yet another very popular type of kitsch antique lamp that is being manufactured right now is the “Sexy Leg Lamp.” This is the lamp that was featured in the movie “The Christmas Story.” It consists of a plastic molded ladies leg wearing a black high heel and it is topped with a shade that looks like a burlesque dancer’s skirt. If you have one of these in your home, your guests are sure to point out that “you have the same lamp that Ralphie’s Dad does.”

A kind of lamp that is getting harder and harder to find but used to be a common sight on top of television sets all over the world is the classic ceramic black panther that is topped with a shade made from paper pressed with glitter.

Perhaps the most popular of the antique lamps are the lava lamps. It is getting harder and harder nowadays to find a real lava lamp from the fifties or sixties. The knock offs that can be had for twenty dollars and be bought in a hardware store are simply not as nice as the ones you find on eBay or in antique shops. This is because the newer replicas tend to be a lot smaller then the original lava lamps that were sometimes tall enough to reach your knee. They also often contain glitter instead of the “lava” and their design is not as nice. If you manage to find a real lava lamp from the fifties then the design from the Atomic Age is certain to become a conversation starter.